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Transgender inmate sues over prison rape
By LISA LEFF, Associated Press
Fri Jul 20, 9:45 PM ET
Alexis Giraldo was born as a man but lives life as a woman. She takes hormones to feminize her appearance, a fact she says prison officials didn't care about even as her male cellmate repeatedly raped and beat her.
Now free on parole, Giraldo is suing the state prison system and several guards over the state's policy of assigning transgender inmates to men's or women's prisons depending on whether they have had a sex change.
"Prisons are violent places, and male prisons are especially violent places," said Greg Walston, a lawyer who took Giraldo's case for free and asked a jury this week for unspecified damages. "You take that boiling cauldron and you put one woman in there — which is exactly what happened here — and it's like throwing a fresh piece of meat into a lion's cage."
Giraldo, 30, claims Folsom State Prison guards ignored her complaints and returned her to the same cell until she was assaulted again, then placed in protective custody and moved to another facility.
Giraldo is suing the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for emotional distress and violating her constitutional right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. She has asked Superior Court Judge Ellen Chaitin to order prison officials to come up with a new system for housing transgender inmates.
The Associated Press has a policy of not naming people alleging sexual assault. However, Giraldo has spoken out publicly and has been identified by a transgender rights organization that is advocating for her.
Several counties in California, including San Francisco, have created separate units specifically for transgender prisoners. But like other states and the federal Bureau of Prisons, California assigns inmates to prisons based on their genitalia rather than physical appearance.
Biological men who dress and act like women but have not had sex reassignment surgery can be assigned to a psychiatric prison like the one to which Giraldo eventually transferred or the general population of a regular men's prison, according to Walston.
The California attorney general's office, which is representing the corrections department and Folsom staff members also named as defendants in the lawsuit, said Friday it would not comment on the case.
Briefs filed by the state argue that Giraldo initially was in a consensual sexual relationship with her cellmate in violation of prison policy, did not report specific rape claims and refused offers to be moved to a different cell. Once she made it clear her cellmate was sexually assaulting her and prison staff found strangulation marks on her neck, she was removed to protective custody, the state maintains.
"Plaintiff alleges that he informed prison staff on a number of occasions about these events. However, the documentation maintained by prison personnel — including some of the defendants in this case — does not bear out these assertions," the state's brief states.
Teda Boyll, a retired guard and supervisor in California, testified for Giraldo as an expert witness Friday, saying that in her opinion Folsom officials failed to adequately investigate Giraldo's concerns and assure her safety.
"There are some warning signs," Boyll said. "When an inmate says, 'I am getting pressured for sex,' it means it is already happened or it is imminent he will have to provide nonconsensual sex to another inmate."
Giraldo was sent to Folsom for shoplifting and a parole violation in January 2006. She spent three months in the general prison population and another four in a single cell away from other inmates. She remained in the medical prison until she was paroled this month.
She testified Friday that she voluntarily had sex with her former cellmate, Jorge Villavacencio, for a couple of weeks but that she changed her mind after he became violent and possessive. She said that she informed a psychologist and at least three guards about her circumstances, but that they did not take them seriously.
"I'm like scared and frustrated that this happened to me," Giraldo said from the witness stand. "I'm a woman who got raped. ... I feel like people know and think of me as dirty. I feel dirty."
Villavacencio has denied raping Giraldo and is scheduled to testify for the state.
Valerie Jenness, a University of California, Irvine, criminologist who recently studied sexual assaults in California prisons, testified that 59 percent of the state's transgender inmates have reported being sexually assaulted, compared with 4 percent of the general prison population.
자식원하는 준비된 부모 어린이 인권도 생각해야
JUNE 12, 2007 04:50
지난달 19일 결혼한 트랜스젠더 연예인 하리수가 네 명의 아이를 입양해 기르고 싶다는 뜻을 공식적으로 밝힌 후 인터넷에는 트랜스젠더의 입양권을 둘러싼 논쟁이 일고 있다. 하리수의 입양 의사를 보도한 인터넷 기사의 댓글과 포털사이트 게시판에는 연일 찬반논쟁이 줄을 잇고 있다.
본보 취재 결과 트랜스젠더 부부가 비공식적으로 입양을 한 사례는 국내에도 이미 있는 것으로 확인이 됐다. 국내 트랜스젠더 인구는 통상 1200여 명에서 많게는 4500여 명으로 추산되지만 지금까지 입양지정기관을 통해 공식적으로 입양에 성공한 트랜스젠더는 없다.
입양기관들 거부감 표시=현재 법적으로 트랜스젠더의 아이 입양에는 아무런 문제가 없다. 입양자격요건에 성적 소수자에 대한 제한 규정은 없을뿐더러 지난해 국내입양 활성화를 위해 정부가 입양 규정을 완화하면서는 독신자도 자녀 입양이 가능해졌다.
그러나 본보가 접촉한 20여 개의 국내 입양기관 모두는 아무리 다른 조건을 다 갖췄다 하더라도 트랜스젠더인 부모라면 입양이 어렵다는 반응을 보였다. 문의를 해 오면 자격요건에 대해 설명은 해 주지만 현실적으로 입양에 동의해 줄 수는 없다는 것.
한 입양기관 관계자는 입양기관은 특별한 가정이 아니라 입양아동이 보통의 아이들처럼 클 수 있는 평범한 가정을 찾는 것이라며 편견이라 할 수도 있겠지만 트랜스젠더 가정이나 동성애자 가정이 일반적인 성장환경이 아닌 것은 사실이지 않으냐고 말했다.
뜨거운 감자로 떠오를 듯=국내 입양기관들의 거부감 표시에 대해 전문가들도 의견이 엇갈린다.
익명을 요구한 복수의 정신과 의사들은 트랜스젠더의 입양은 성적 소수자의 인권 외에도 어린이의 인권을 생각해야 한다며 반대했다.
반면 김붕년 서울대 소아정신과 교수는 폭력을 행사하고 아이를 돌보지 않는 등 부모로서의 자세를 갖추지 못한 (비트랜스젠더) 부모보다는 아이를 간절히 원하고 사랑해 줄 준비가 돼 있는 트랜스젠더 부모가 더 좋은 부모가 될 수 있다고 주장했다.
논쟁이 계속되는 가운데 트랜스젠더를 비롯한 한국의 성적 소수자들은 자녀와 가정을 가질 권리를 포함해 사회적, 법적 권익을 보호받기 위한 움직임을 점차 키워가고 있다.
민주노동당은 이번 대선 공약으로 동성애자의 혼인, 입양 등 가족구성권을 보장하는 법안 발의와 함께 성소수자 인권보호를 위한 기본계획 수립을 내세울 예정이어서 이를 둘러싼 논쟁은 앞으로 더 뜨거워질 전망이다.
Adoption by Transgenders?
JUNE 12, 2007 04:50
Ha Ri-soo, a newly wed transgender entertainer, expressed her will to “adopt four children,” causing a heated debate on the right to adoption by transgenders. Mixed reactions are posted on bulletin boards of portal sites.
The Dong-A Ilbo found that some transgender couples have unofficially adopted children in Korea. The country’s transgender population is estimated at 1,200 to 4,500. But none of them have adopted a child through an official channel.
Opposition from Adoption Agencies-
Adoption by transgender couples is totally legal in Korea. There are no regulations on sexual orientation in the qualifications for adoptive parents. Also, a single can adopt a child, as the government eased regulations on adoption last year in an attempt to facilitate domestic adoption.
However, all of some 20 domestic adoption agencies that the Dong-A Ilbo talked to said, “Transgender couples have difficulty adopting a child, even if their qualifications are perfect.” They added that they can offer explanations about qualifications to inquiring transgender couples but cannot agree on their adoption.
An adoption agency official said, “Agencies look for ‘ordinary families’ where adoptees can live a normal life just like other children, rather than ‘special families.’ Some might call it prejudice, but it is true that transgendered or same-sex parents are not ordinary parents.”
A Potential Hot-Button Issue-
Experts offer mixed reactions to the opposition from adoption agencies.
On condition of anonymity, some psychiatrists shared the agencies’ stance, saying, “Adoption by transgendered parents is not just about the human rights of sexual minorities, but about the human rights of adopted children.”
However, pediatric psychiatry professor Kim Boong-nyun at Seoul National University argues, “Transgender parents who are eager to have a child and ready to love them could be better than those (non-transgender parents) who do not qualify as good parents, using violence on children and neglecting them.”
Amid heated debate, the country’s sexual minorities, including transgenders, are increasingly seeking protection of their social and legal rights, including the right to have children and a family.
The Democratic Labor Party plans to include the submission of bill about protecting homosexuals’ right to marriage, adoption, and having a family, and the establishment of basic plans for human rights protection for sexual minorities in its presidential election pledge, which could lead to a more heated debate.
Transsexual wins landmark identity case
31/05/2007 - 16:23:06
A transsexual today won a landmark case to have her new name changed from male to female on her Leaving Cert exam certificate.
The action had been taken against the State Examinations Commission and the Department of Education and Science.
The case was settled when the State Examinations Commission agreed to reissue the transsexual's Leaving Certificate as well as her Group Intermediate Certificate exams in the female name she had chosen.
Equality Authority chief Niall Crowley said the outcome was a valuable and necessary recognition for transsexual people from an important statutory body.
“Steps should now be taken by the Government to provide a legal recognition for transsexual people in the gender with which they identify so that the example of the State Examinations Commission can be followed across all sectors,” he said.
The complainant was registered at birth as male but was diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder and underwent treatment for this.
She changed her name by deed poll and requested to have her Group Intermediate Certificate and her Leaving Certificate amended to reflect her new name as she needed these documents to find a job.
She contacted the Department of Education and Science who referred her to the State Examinations Commission.
The Commission advised her that is was not possible to have her Group Certificate and Leaving Certificate reissued in her new name.
(産経 2007/05/29 10:03)
Last Updated: Monday, 28 May 2007, 10:53 GMT 11:53 UK
Pakistan 'same-sex' couple jailed
Shumail Raj (left) and Shahzina Tariq are the focus of attention
A Pakistani court has jailed a married couple for three years for perjury after a dispute over the husband's sex.
Last week the court ruled that the husband was, in fact, a woman, despite sex-change surgery and that the couple had lied about his sexual status.
It also said their marriage was un-Islamic because it was same-sex.
The case is believed the first of its kind in Pakistan. The couple said they would appeal against the sentence and have asked President Musharraf to help.
Shumail Raj, 31, had sex-change surgery to become a man and then married his cousin - who was aware of the condition but says she needed his help to avoid being forced into wedlock with someone else.
He is reported to have undergone surgery twice in Pakistan over the past 16 years to become a man.
But tests carried out by doctors on behalf of the court ruled that Raj, who has a beard an moustache, was still a woman.
He himself says that he needs to go abroad for more treatment even though his breasts and uterus have been removed.
Shumail Raj has appealed to President Musharraf for help
The judge, Khawaja Mohammad Sharif, said he was issuing a "lenient" sentence, below the maximum punishment, because the couple had apologised, the Associated Press news agency reports.
He also asked them to pay a fine of 10,000 Pakistani rupees ($165).
Reports said Mr Raj and his 24-year-old wife Shahzina Tariq appeared shocked by the verdict.
"We appeal to President Musharraf to intervene. Mr Musharraf is talking about moderation and enlightenment. We hope he will do something for us," Mr Raj said.
Earlier, the couple told the court that they had got married so that the wife could avoid an arranged marriage.
The bride's father wants to annul the wedding on the grounds that it is against Islam for two women to marry.
But the couple argue that they married to protect the bride from being sold into marriage to pay off her uncle's gambling debts.
Shahzina Tariq says they are not homosexuals and they married because they are in love.
The two were arrested a fortnight ago after the bride's family complained about the gender of her husband.
Cambridge City Council
Cllr Jenny Bailey appointed Mayor
Cllr Jenny Bailey has been appointed Mayor of the City of Cambridge at Cambridge City Council’s annual meeting on Thursday 24 May.
Jenny has served continuously on the Council since 2002 when she was elected to represent East Chesterton ward. She was appointed Executive Councillor for Planning and Transportation in 2004, a post she held until May 2006 when she became Deputy Mayor.
As Executive Councillor she successfully led the Council’s new parking enforcement role. She also supported the Mayor at civic ceremonial events as Deputy Mayor and as a Ceremonial Bailiff.
Jenny has a strong interest in environmental issues, promoting cycling, waste management and recycling.
She has spent some time on the City Council’s Planning Committee and her interest in planning has involved representing the views of residents in talks with the county council and neighbouring district councils on proposals for the growth of Cambridge.
She has also been a school governor for Chesterton Community College.
Her career background is in radio engineering and she worked for Pye Telecom which later became part of Philips. She has subsequently worked as a telecommunications engineer for a number of companies many of which have been based in Cambridge.
Jenny has chosen two charities to benefit from the fundraising work she will carry out as part of her mayoral duties over the coming year.
Her first charity is Press Relief, an organisation set up by Cambridgeshire Newspapers Ltd, which raises money for facilities that aim to improve the education, health and social welfare of disadvantaged people across the county.
Jenny’s second charity is the Cambridge Museum of Technology which is based on Cheddar’s Lane, Cambridge.
She will be proposed as Mayor at the annual meeting by her fellow ward councillor, Cllr Marian Holness. The nomination will be seconded by Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of the Labour Group.
Jenny said: “I entered local politics because I believe in public service and because I wanted to make a contribution to the wonderful city we live in. I am honoured that my fellow councillors have now chosen me to be Mayor.
“I want my mayoral year to be about celebrating the unsung heroes of our city. There are many of them.
“They are individuals and organisations that quietly work away making a real difference to people’s lives without expecting any reward or publicity in return.
“They deserve recognition and thanks for their work and I see it as a major part of my job as Mayor to make sure they know how grateful we are.
“There are many also many specific causes I want to highlight in the next twelve months. These include raising the profile of disability issues, supporting events for and on behalf of migraine sufferers and attending meetings of minority religious groups.”
She added: “Over the coming year I’ll be raising funds for two local charities which do a great deal of excellent work.
“Press Relief works to help people in some of the more disadvantaged parts of the county by providing grants for new projects and facilities. I hope to raise enough money over the next year to give their work a well-deserved boost.
“And as a radio engineer I have always thought the Museum of Technology to be one of the treasures of the city. It is run by volunteers who are dedicated to showing how science and technology has helped to shape the unique heritage of our city.
“It offers a wonderful insight into how our city has developed making it a fascinating place for visitors, school children and residents to learn more about Cambridge.”
Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith, Leader of Cambridge City Council, said: “I am looking forward to supporting Jenny as she takes the leading role in Cambridge’s civic life for the coming year.
“Jenny has fulfilled the role of Deputy Mayor in the past year with great distinction and we already know that she will make a really great Mayor.”
Cambridge's sex-change mayor goes public
By David Sapsted
Last Updated: 11:12am BST 24/05/2007
The residents of an historic university city awoke yesterday to discover that not only had their new lady mayor been born a man, but that their lady mayoress had been, too.
Miss Bailey: 'More things define me than being transgender'
The world's first sex change couple to hold such offices will take over their roles in Cambridge as the city prepares to celebrate 800 years since the appointment of having a mayor.
Mayor-elect Jenny Bailey, a Lib Dem councillor and father of two, and her business and civil partner, Jennifer Liddle, a former city councillor, met while having hormone therapy about 15 years ago as they underwent sex change operations.
Miss Bailey, 45, was forced to go public about her personal life after being approached about it by a reporter on a local newspaper.
"So many more things define me than being transgender - a medical condition I had 15 years ago and which I have now recovered from," she said.
"I'm proud that I managed to get through something which was quite difficult and managed to come out of it a better person. I certainly do not want it to eclipse being mayor.
"If it damages the Cambridge mayoralty I will be so upset. I'm so proud of Cambridge. It's an honour to be mayor."
Miss Liddle, 49, said that a number of people working at the council knew Miss Bailey when she was married man.
"It has been described as the worst kept secret in Cambridge," she said.
The couple live together and run a software company. Miss Bailey, who has two sons aged 18 and 20 - one of whom lives with her - remains on good terms with her ex-wife, who said yesterday that she was "incredibly proud" of her former husband.
"I am incredibly proud of Jenny and the achievements she has made over the last few years," she added.
"She is a totally selfless person who wants to help others and make a positive impact on our community.
"I think she will make an excellent mayor and has major contributions to make. I hope this will be the focus which people concentrate on.
"I feel sad that the emphasis seems to be about the pathetic 'scandal' involved in her past. She is going to be an excellent mayor and this should be the focus."
Miss Bailey said that, as far as she and Miss Liddle were concerned, their sexuality had never been a secret. “The nature of the Cambridge software industry is that I can't go into a company and not meet one of those 2,500 people who worked at Philips (where she was employed when she was a man).
"When I first joined the Liberal Democrats, there was a vetting process and they asked: 'Is there anything in your past that is going to be difficult?' I said I was transgender and they said: 'No, is there anything that is going to be difficult?'."
The Local Government Association confirmed that Miss Bailey was the first transgender mayor known to take office in the country and the news received a mixed reaction on the streets of Cambridge.
"I think it's disgusting," said one woman shopper, who declined to be named.
"For a mayor and mayoress...no way."
Pensioner Ernest Lane added: "What a mess. It doesn't shock me these days but I don't like it at all. It shouldn't be made public, though, like it has been."
However, carpenter Todd Growns said: "It's a bit weird but does it make any difference? As long as they are doing a good job, it's fine."
トランスジェンダーの市長さん「夫妻」＠ケンブリッジ (today's news from uk+)
[News] トランスジェンダー市長誕生に対するメディアの論調～英ケンブリッジ(HODGE'S PARROT)
性転換 埼玉医大が中止 担当の教授定年
Saitama Medical Univ. stops sex-change ops from May
Sunday May 13, 2007
(Kyodo) _ Saitama Medical University says it has stopped conducting sex change operations for those who suffer from gender identity disorder since the start of this month after a professor in charge of them retired.
At least 30 patients were to receive the surgeries at the private medical school by October, but the schedules were forced to be canceled.
Saitama Medical University is the nation's pioneer having provided sex-change operations since 1998 as legitimate medical procedures.
While there are believed to be more than 10,000 GID patients in Japan, Toshio Yamauchi, the university president, said Sunday, "We want to resume the practice as soon as possible."
Takao Harashina, who was in charge of the operations until the end of March as head of the plastic surgery department, had agreed with the university that he would continue to provide the operations as a specially appointed professor after his retirement, but the university "reneged on the promise at the end of March," he said.
Harashina said he managed to perform surgeries on the patients who had booked the operations for the month of April before leaving the school.
"We were going to ask him to stay as a visiting professor, but we could not come to an agreement with him," said Yamauchi. He added that the department has not been able to provide surgeries because a staff member has had health problems in addition to Harashina's retirement.
The university has performed over 350 sex-change surgeries to date, including the formation of sex organs and the removal of breasts, according to Harashina.
The Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology approved the practice after setting guidelines in 1997. Schools offering the operations include Okayama University and Sapporo Medical University.
Saitama Medical University stops sex-change operations
BY KANAKO IDA, THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Japan's leading hospital in sex-change operations has stopped offering its services, leaving a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the treatment of patients suffering from gender identity disorder.
Saitama Medical University called a halt to the operations after professor Takao Harashina, a surgeon specializing in plastic surgery, retired at the end of April.
University President Toshio Yamauchi said it had become impossible to assemble a team of experienced doctors to perform sex-change operations.
Gender identity disorder, the condition in which people do not identify with the sex they were born with, is slowly beginning to win social recognition in Japan.
The suspension of operations at Saitama Medical University could jeopardize the hopes for the treatment of the nation's estimated 10,000 patients, experts say.
The university's plastic surgery department has canceled the nearly 60 sex-change operations it was scheduled to perform between May and October.
Yamauchi said the university hopes to resume sex-change operations as early as possible, emphasizing that its policy to offer the medical treatment remains unchanged.
Three years ago, it became possible for people diagnosed with the condition to change their sex on family registers by applying to family courts.
Applicants must undergo sex-change operations and fulfill other conditions before applying for the changes to registers.
Several other universities, including Okayama University and Kansai Medical University, perform sex-change operations, but the number of operations carried out by those institutions is limited.
The change from woman to man is particularly difficult. The procedure requires advanced technology and experience, experts noted.
Saitama Medical University carried out the nation's first legal sex-change operation in 1998.
The treatment of people suffering from gender identity disorder was formally introduced after the Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology compiled guidelines in 1997.
The guidelines call for patients to first receive psychotherapeutic and hormone treatment and, when necessary, to undergo sex-change operations.
So far, 357 patients suffering from gender identity disorder have undergone sex-change operations at Saitama Medical University, according to Harashina.
About 60 percent have undergone relatively simple operations to remove their breasts.
But 21 people have had male sex organs attached.
Toshiyuki Oshima, director of the Japanese Society of Gender Identity Disorder, said Japan should have its own treatment center for patients.
Oshima, a professor at Kyushu International University, said doctors who can perform sex-change operations are limited. He also noted that such operations are not covered by medical insurance.
Operations done overseas can involve considerable difficulties due to language problems as well as issues during post-operation medical care, he added.(IHT/Asahi: May 14,2007)
埼玉医大がSRSを中止 / Japan's Saitama Med cancelled all SRSs
Saitama Medical School, which underwent Japan's 1st sex reassignment surgery (SRS) and is one of the centers for the nation's GID treatment, has cancelled all the SRSs because of the retirement of the chief doctor for the surgeries.
性同一性障害 変更５００件超 (NHK 2007/05/02)